James Ireland On January - 27 - 2011

It’s so apt that I review this game on a day that happens to be so cold outside that I saw a dog get snapped off a lamp post and that when I put my trousers on the radiator to cool down an ice cube melted and farted. As much as I would like to be in the cold at a Ski resort, I don’t have that luxury, instead I’ve been out in the cold with icy fingers checking out Metro Ski Challenge by GreenTube in a concrete jungle. Don’t get me wrong though, experiencing this game whilst your fingers are close to dropping off is about as real conditions as you can give this game, it even adds the condensation of my breath into my eye-sight to accentuate just how cold it would be out in the Alps.

So as you have gathered by now it is a Skiing game. It features the iPhone accelerometer measuring your tilts and forward direction and just two buttons. You can press a stop button to slow down or an arrow symbol to crouch and speed up by becoming more streamlined. I find too many accelerometer games perhaps too overly sensitive or never sensitive enough but thankfully with Metro Ski Challenge 2011 you balance is perfect. Sometimes motion controls can be somewhat the down fall of a game, but not here. The controls feel well suited to the title and are pretty entertaining to use.

When you start the game, you’ll be presented with one track with others opening up later on in the lifespan of the game, the last of the tracks to be released is on the 26th January, so by the time you read this, you’ll have access to all of the tracks on offer. According to the developers these tracks are realistic depictions of famous Ski resorts and from the ones we’ve played it does look like good attention to detail has been made here. The iPhones graphical processor prevents the developers from being able to give that location realism the depth they’d like to, but all the corners and turns seem very accurate to the resorts after doing a video search on YouTube.

Once you’ve mastered the course you can step online and take on the world. You can even win real prizes, there however is a downside. Prize events take place on specific days, so you won’t be able to compete all of the time, secondly it’s the registration that is required. Online registration for games can be annoying and having to do this on another game is a tad frustrating. It does serve a purpose though, being entered into those competitions that are being held. I can’t vouch where your personal data goes to, or whether it goes to third parties, it’s something worth bearing in mind before you step online.

There are several different ski’s to choose from which go from easy to hard to control or you can custom your ride settings between grip, carve and speed. These can be tweaked as and when you wish and I felt this was a nice addition especially when attempting to beat my ghost times, modifying these settings can have a real effect and I guess that is where more than anything the addictiveness comes from. The game isn’t all praise though. There are a number of imperfections with the game which I’ll get into on the next paragraph. The game hits in around £1.20 which for an iPhone game does set it in the medium band price range.

So where does this game fall down. Firstly there is a couple of frame rate issues which slows the game down temporarily, experiencing this with motion controls can really screw your racing line up temporarily, whether this is because I played the game on the iPhone 3G I’m not too sure, we’ll be sure to check it out on the iPhone 4 later this year. Secondly, the crash animations are extremely poor. You get no bail, no rag doll, the skier just stops abruptly and that’s not fun to watch! Lastly is the games audio, whilst the music and sounds of the ski’s and bells for sections sound fine. The constant moan of your character is enough to make you turn the audio off, it was not a clever move. Sometimes your character sounds like he’s trapped his nuts in a vice. Other than that though there is nothing really to snipe this game with.

On balance I’d say that Metro Ski Challenge 2011 is worthy of your coin, if you’re a fan of the sports genre as a whole it is a no brainer.

Categories: Feature, iPhone Reviews
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